I visited Bonaire to escape the New York winter for a weekend in 2014.
It is a great place to dive but not so great to mammal watch. There are no native terrestrial mammals, but there are seven species of bats, most of which I hadn’t seen. It was a last minute – and short – trip and I’d sort of promised my girlfriend there’d be no mammals involved so when I contacted Fernando Simal from Bonaire’s Natural History Resource Unit it was just on the off-chance that there might be some bats that were very easy to see….
Fernando was very helpful, pointed me to his department’s excellent website on the Bats of the ABC Islands, and even invited me to a mist netting course that weekend in neighbouring Aruba. He also suggested that I might find some Miller’s Long-tongued Bat (Glossophaga longirostris) in the abandoned houses around Playa Frans in the north west of the island, but I needed a 4WD (or a bit more time) to get there, as the houses are at least a two kilometre walk from the end of the tarmac. And so the only mammals I saw were a few bats flying around the hotel at dusk: presumably Pallas’s Mastiff Bats.
Bonaire, 2011: Vladimir Dinets – some notes on the bats and rats of the island.
Please email me if you have tips for mammal watching in this area.
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